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Dusting off the rust? - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Tue, 06 Mar 2007 07:38:00 GMT
It was a tough day at the office for Group 10 defending premiers Bathurst last weekend, going down 50-12 against Newcastle top dogs, Lakes United in a pre-season trial at Carrington Park.

The 2006 Newcastle premiers proved too good for Bathurst with a nine-tries-to-two performance that would have shortened their odds as favourites to retain their current title.

Bathurst also lost to Illawarra club Berkeley 32-20 in February and now remain winless heading into the new season.

But according to five-eighth and captain, Dave Elvy, they've weathered the worst with similiar results not expected when the real season commences.

" "They [Lakes United] are easily in the best 10 sides in NSW Country," Elvy told the Western Advocate.

"They are strong, fast and skillful. They started well and had us on the back foot a lot.

They've got even better, they're one of the best sides in bush footy and I don't think any sides in Group 10 will be able to play like that.

"Finals matches are never easy and the intensity lifts but that's one of the toughest games we will play this year."

The Panthers captain-coach however was aware they blew at least 3 opportunities to score and will need to fix up their speed around the ruck to remain competitive this season.

"It wasn't too bad but we know there is a lot to work on," Elvy said.

"Ball control is another area we have to improve, but I think considering we used 11 new players and we want to give everyone a go, we played well in patches."

In other trial games, Emu Plains defeated Mudgee by one try to walk away with a 24-20 win at Robertson Oval last Saturday.

"Considering the preparation we had leading up to the trial I was quite happy with the result," Mudgee first grade coach Peter Hickman said.

LAKES UNITED 50 (Fletcher Hawkins 3, Jason McKenzie 2, Paul Hickey 2, Dane Thoroughgood, Scott Collins tries; Jason Thorne 5, Thoroughgood, Todd Matterson goals) defeated BATHURST PANTHERS 12 (Christian Luyks, Nathan Rollinson tries; Christian Luyks 2 goals). - Read More, Here